No in-fighting at SA, says presidential candidate Ho
Ho unveils team that will bid for control of SA; claims to have worked the ground
In-fighting in Singapore Athletics (SA)? No such thing.
That's the assertion made by SA secretary Ho Mun Cheong, who is bidding to succeed Tang Weng Fei as the national track and field body's president.
Ho said this after introducing his team to the media last night at the Big Box mall in Jurong East.
Tang, who has been SA president since 2010, made a shock announcement last week when he said he would step down at the association's AGM on Monday.
The oil trader cited disputes within the executive committee as one of the main reasons for his decision.
But Ho, 68, and his team rejected the notion, insisting Tang misinterpreted "disagreements" as personal attacks.
Loh Chan Pew, the incumbent vice-president (competitions), said: "In discussions, there will always be disagreements."
Tan Ming Jen, who is standing as assistant honorary secretary, added: "Dictators will call discussions in-fighting, because they can't get their way."
Alexander C Louis, who is running as honorary secretary, said the team hope to put in place a Code of Conduct to outline how management and executive committee members should behave in discussions.
"This is a problem in many organisations," said Louis.
"If you run a business as a sole proprietor, as a director, you can decide on every single thing yourself.
"But when you have an association... (you need a) code of conduct in meetings, management and governance, so that nobody takes any issue personally.
"I like chicken rice, he likes nasi briyani, but we have a decision to make, through robust debates. There must be consensus."
R Rajandran, the incumbent vice-president (finance), also insisted that in-fighting was not the reason for Tang's decision to step away from SA presidency.
The chartered accountant claimed Tang made his decision after Ho, Loh and him sent a letter to the Singapore National Olympic Council and national sports body Sport Singapore dated June 13, with "evidence... that support the contention that (Tang) was dictatorial and acting in a unilateral manner".
Tang rubbished the claim, telling The New Paper last night: "Those are groundless allegations.
"I decided to step down in March. Sport Singapore is aware of this, and I'd been updating them on my search for a suitable successor... until I found Edmond Pereira."
Criminal lawyer Pereira, 66, has the backing of Tang and Loh Lin Kok, who was track and field president for two spells, from 1981-2004 and 2006-2010.
Twice defeated by Loh for the presidency of SA, in 1983 and 2000, Pereira unveiled his team last Friday.
Last night, Ho fired a salvo, saying: "(Pereira) states he has the mandate from past presidents.
"He fails to recognise that his mandate should come from the affiliates, not presidents or past presidents of the association, who do not carry votes."
Ho is confident he and his team had the edge over Pereira and his line-up.
"Edmond Pereira has been out of the (athletics) scene for so many years, and suddenly he comes back. Why?," he asked, rhetorically.
"If you're asking me what our chances are, I can tell you, for the past two years, Chan Pew and I have been working the ground and seeing all the affiliates.
"So we are cautiously optimistic."